Spanish climber Iban Mayo has been cleared of any doping offence after returning a 'non-negative' urine test in the Giro d'Italia. The Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport reported the test results in a move that the UCI called "premature". The UCI is currently investigating the results of two other 'non-negative' tests, reported to be high levels of the asthma medication salbutamol returned, according to Gazetta, by Mayo's team-mate Leonardo Piepoli and sprint ace Alessandro Petacchi.
The UCI issued a statement regarding Mayo's high testosterone:epitestosterone result, stating, "No breach of the UCI antidoping rules was committed by the Spanish rider Iban Mayo of the Saunier Duval team. A further examination conducted by IRMS has enabled any possibility of testosterone administration to be ruled out."
The additional tests were performed in the WADA laboratory in Rome, and confirmed that Mayo's high testosterone levels are of a natural origin, something which Saunier Duval team manager stated the UCI is aware of, and for which Mayo holds an exemption. The Saunier Duval team objected to the publication of the test results in the press, stating that previous reports of non-negatives have been published and then subsequently returned 'not-guilty' verdicts, "But never in the past, had rumours been published with names of cyclists to such early stage," stated the team press release. "That is why we condemn and regret those accusations which have been made to our team and which affects our image and our sponsors."
Indeed, earlier this year news that second place 2006 Tour de France finisher Oscar Pereiro had tested 'non-negative' for the asthma drug salbutamol was published and later cleared up when the rider presented proper documentation for a therapeutic use exemption to the antidoping authorities.
The UCI statement addressed the premature publication of the names involved, stating, "The history of this particular case shows the vital need to await the closure of the relevant investigations before reaching conclusions.